BENTON — Residents at the annual Town Meeting passed a $1.6 million municipal budget and also approved the use of $75,000 in federal pandemic relief aid for a variety of town projects.

The meeting was held at the Benton Grange Hall on Saturday and was preceded a day earlier by municipal elections.

In those elections, Randall Raymond was named as road commissioner with 106 votes and Elizabeth Ridgeway was elected to the Maine School Administrative District 49 board of directors with 92 votes. June Caron was elected to the Board of Select Persons with 65 votes, narrowly defeating incumbent Robin Cyr, who received 56 votes.

Residents on Saturday approved the use of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for a number of projects, including $15,000 for manhole/sewer line inspection and repair, $30,000 for manhole/sewer main replacement, $25,000 for a sewer design review for the MSAD 49 new elementary school project, and $5,000 for the River Road railroad water main crossing project.

Voters approved the town’s $1.6 million budget after amending two articles. Article 14, which asked to appropriate $3,500 from alewife revenue for the alewife festival, fish restoration and the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust, was amended to instead appropriate $300 from alewife revenue for the land trust.

Article 20, which raised $3,000 for scholarships for Benton students, was also amended to divide up the scholarship money: $2,000 for the Poulin scholarship, $750 for the Buker scholarship and $250 for the Pillsbury scholarship.


Article 21, which would have dissolved the Poulin, Buker and Pillsbury scholarships and replaced them with three $1,000 scholarships in the name of the Town of Benton, was rejected by voters.

The town budget of $1.6 million represented an increase of about $265,000 from last year. However, the town will use $112,315 from the American Rescue Plan Act money to offset some of that increase.

It’s not clear how the tax rate will be impacted, because the school budget and the Kennebec County budget have not yet been approved.

Residents also approved language changes to the general government ordinance, public and private sewer ordinance, and land use ordinance.

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